Putting money aside on a regular basis, earmarked for specific big-ticket projects and purchases is personal finance 101. It sounds simple enough, yet for a vast majority of individuals, sticking to spending limits, and staying on-track to achieve savings goals remains a formidable challenge. This is because there are no tools, systems, or frameworks that can make up for the lack of discipline and determination.
That being said, with the right tools and systems in place, we stand to better deal with the frictions, and uncertainties that come with personal finance endeavors. Whether you’re saving for a house, education for your kids, retirement, or merely to upgrade your life with certain big ticket purchases, the right approach can make staying on top of finances far easier, and substantially improve the odds of success.
Set The Timeline
One of the biggest reasons for failure when it comes to personal finances is the lack of proper consideration to timelines. Most people have the tendency to set finance goals in absolute monetary terms, paying no heed to the time value of money.
Savings of $100,000 was sufficient for down payment on a mortgage in most major cities just a few years ago, but this no longer holds true.
- Plan For Uncertainties
For most people, financial plans are often waylaid by unforeseen emergencies, either medical, loss of job, or macro factors such as recessionary or inflationary headwinds. As such, it is absolutely pertinent to stay on top of trends, and the potential risks that stand in the way of achieving your financial goals.
This means, there is no point in skimping on health insurance just to meet your savings goals, similarly, if your house is located in a hurricane zone, make sure your homeowner’s coverage includes act’s of God. This is how you can make sure your financial plans, and long-term goals survive the rabid uncertainties of life in this day and age.
- Use A Bank Account That Helps Align With Your Goals
While there is no shortage of apps and tools to help get your finances in order, nothing beats a bank account that remains in perfect sync with your financial goals.
New age fintech and banking startups offer plenty in terms of value added services for account holders, starting with simple savings goals, top advanced tracking and analytics solutions to help you stay on top of your progress.
If your current bank fails to offer such features, try SoFi’s online bank account for a simple, yet effective solution for the same.
- Pay-off High-Interest Debt First
This often goes without saying, but here it is anyway. If you have credit cards, student loans, or worse payday loans with high interest rates, it makes sense to direct all of your savings towards paying them off.
No matter how much you save, or where you invest said savings, the rate of returns can never exceed the interest charged on such types of debt. As a result, it’s best to pay off this debt, before even considering long-term financial goals.
There are a number of ways to deal with this, such as debt snowball or debt avalanche, both aimed at making the most of your money, and getting your financial health back in order in the shortest possible duration.
With the advent of personalized tools and fintech solutions, individuals can no longer justify financial tardiness on the lack of resources, or know-how.
Keeping track of, and staying on top of personal finances remains very much within reach, and as such, the failure to do so is almost always the result of a glaring lack of will, or determination to achieve financial goals by individuals.